Hvar Marks Start of 2011 Tourist Season with St. Prosper Festival
The patron saint of the Vis, Brac and Hvar diocese is celebrated in style in Hvar Town, with gastronomic delights, arts and crafts, and dance on offer.
Hvar Town is preparing to celebrate the Feast of St. Prosper in style on May 10, 2011 with a range of religious, cultural and gastronomic events centred around the main square and Hotel Palace, according to a report in Slobodna Dalamacija.
The festival, now in its fifth year, is growing in popularity and is an opportunity for local craftsmen, restaurants and wine growers to promote their wares in a full cultural programme.
Hvar Town Festival: Programme of Events
The St. Prosper Festival kicks off at 10am on the main square, and highlights of the day's events include a mixture of dance (ballet, folk and modern) at 11am, a Catholic Mass and ensuing procession at 1800, and a gastronomic festval hosted by Hotel Palace, which will also be showcasing an exhibition by Hvar's primary school children.
"We are delighted to have a full day of festivities for our patron saint at the start of the season," said Pjerino Bebic, the mayor of Hvar Town, who made the headlines recently by offering to rename a neighbouring island Facebook. "As co-organisers, we give total support to our artists, and we want the town and the island to be an example to everyone of what we have inherited from our ancestors, and continue to offer to the market."
Hvar is well known for its quality olive oil and excellent wines, both of which will be well represented in the evening event, with internationally recognised producers such as Zlatan Plenkovic and Andro Tomic both in attendance.
A panel of judges from the Croatian Culinary Federation will judge the food and wines from the 20 Hvar restaurants who are expected to take to part. Competing restaurants are required to produce a three-course meal, one dish of which must include seafood.
Oldest Organised Tourism in Europe
The island of Hvar has a long tradition of elite tourism, and the 2011 season looks set to build on earlier successes, with the main hotel group reporting much higher bookings than the previous season. Organised tourism on Hvar celebrated 140 years in 2008, and the island claims the title as the oldest organised tourist destination in Europe with the founding of theHvar Health Society in 1868.
After a tourism slump due to the war in Yugoslavia, Hvar - regarded by many as Croatia's premier island - is once again booming as a tourist destination, with its inviting mixture of sunshine, climate, pristine sea and culinary delights.